Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 3 January 2018

James Alexander Cameron Stained Glass Attitudes How to defuse the parish church crisis

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Letting go into . . .

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer How has the Church of England failed to grasp the core finding of the Carlile Report, that a superficially ‘truthful’ complainant might be an unreliable historian of fact?

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Susannah Clark
3 years ago

Martin’s reference to ‘retrospective re-attribution’ is thought-provoking in another context, as one of the comments below the article touches upon: If we believe people can suffer from ‘retrospective re-attribution’ then what about the Scriptures themselves? Are the Gospel writers retrospectively re-interpreting events that occurred long ago? Are the quotes of OT scriptures in the Christian narrative a retrospective re-attribution of the original texts of 100’s of years ago, themselves the accounts of believed events 100’s of years before even those OT texts? What are the limits of unconscious fabrication in the development (over the years) of religious narrative? Did Noah… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
3 years ago

Martin Sewell fillets the Church of England’s response to the Carlile Report.

His summation is acute: “If I were a member of clergy I would be looking at this case and asking myself a simple question. Do I trust these people to get it right if I am unjustly accused?”

This question is more dire for members of the laity. The Church of England says that it will accord to its clergy a presumption of innocence. The Church accords no such presumption to lay people.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
3 years ago

I hope the Powers That Be are taking notice of Martin Sewell’s contributions. If so, they will be re-thinking their response to the Carlile Report, and organising extensive further training for the National Safeguarding Team. That’s a big IF, though,

David Lamming
David Lamming
3 years ago

This further, informed and penetrating analysis by Martin Sewell (retired child protection lawyer and lay member of General Synod) on the Archbishop Cranmer blog, provides yet another reason why a substantial debate on the Carlile Report, its ramifications for the Church of England and its National Safeguarding Team, and the public episcopal statements made in response to Carlile, should be added to the agenda at General Synod in February.

John Wallace
John Wallace
3 years ago

Thank you, James Cameron for sense about old buildings and their contribution to heritage as well as the sense of place. So agree with your comments re DUP funding and aimless Brexit expenditure!

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
3 years ago

Rod Gillis, ice hockey originated in Canada, but Americans have played it in college and professionally for around a century. Susannah Clark, I always find your comments full of insight. Your comments and questions about the Bible and “retrospective re-attribution” (I think George Orwell would have loved that phrase) are spot on. Regarding Noah, it’s quite possible a local flood became part of a tribe’s folk memory, and when that tribe became part of a larger group, that flood memory entered into the group’s origin stories. I see a lot of both the Jewish and Christian Scriptures (Old and New… Read more »

Kate
Kate
3 years ago

Susannah, on your last point, s9 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 explicitly enshrines retrospective-reattribution into the law. It expressly doesn’t change what happened but tells us how we are to remember what happened. As to the Gospels, would Jesus be willing to suffer the agony of the cross but not leave us reliable Scripture to understand his teaching? If Our Lord had reservations about the written record which would become the Gospels, surely he would have called a scribe to be one of the Disciples? As with s9 of the Gender Recognition Act, I suggest that the Gospels are… Read more »

Priscila White
Priscila White
3 years ago

Rod Gillis, peterpi at the risk of being shot down in flames. Canada is part of the continent of North America but is its own country. America is not synonymous with the USA.

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
3 years ago

If we might leave ice-based sports and their provenance for a moment… I think the Martin Sewell article is very good. The problem is that there is a pendulum effect, in which the attitudes of the 1980s (that institutions are honourable, office-holders honest and qualified professionals free from malice, and therefore all complaints can be dismissed out of hand) have resulted in a general suspicion of institutions and a self-flagellation within those institutions. George Carey may be right in his defence of the memory of Bell; George Carey was utterly wrong in his defence of Peter Ball, and his recent… Read more »

Marshall Scott
3 years ago

And on the history of hockey: The Great One played professionally more seasons in the United States than in Canada (minor league in Indianapolis, and then in Los Angeles and St. Louis). I still would think first of his best days with the Oilers. The roots of hockey, like so many other sports, seem to precede significant colonization of North America. That said, there is no place it is treasured, as near as I can tell, more than in Canada. That said, having lived in Michigan, where hockey is much more important as a youth sport than football, hockey seems… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
3 years ago

“a general suspicion of institutions and a self-flagellation within those institutions” Interested Observer, I’m not sure you’ve correctly captured what Lord Carlile has described. I don’t think the Church of England’s press release about Bishop Bell was self-flagellation. I think it was an affirmative use of someone else–conveniently dead–as a scapegoat, in order to preserve the Church’s reputation. This would be the very opposite of institutional self-flagellation. (By the way, Kant would have much to say about the ethics of using people, alive or dead, in this manner.) We can have our different understandings of the strength or weakness of… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
3 years ago

TA sometimes gets up itself a bit, so it’s a joy to read the hockey stuff. My contribution to this weighty matter is to remind readers of Homer Simpson’s advice to Lisa when trying to dissuade her from playing hockey: “Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn’t, it’s that girls should stick to girls’ sports, such as hot-oil wrestling, foxy boxing, and such-and-such.” Spot on, I think.

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
3 years ago

Yes, Jeremy, you are right: in this case, it’s scapegoating rather than self-flagellation, because to the people making the accusation Bell wasn’t “the institution” he was “the past”. I stand corrected. I think my general point holds, however. The response of large institutions a generation ago to criticism, all criticism, was denial and chest-puffing outrage. How can priests be abusers? How can teachers be sadists? How can doctors be incompetent? How many scandals of the past twenty years have at their root an assumption that the right sort of chaps know best, and that the reputation of the institution or… Read more »

Susannah Clark
3 years ago

Thank you Colin, for your New Year reflection about letting ourselves open more to God, and to love, and to our wholeness – a wholeness that can be scary. I found your whole article inspiring. “New Year Resolutions express some hope that we will move in some way more deeply into ourselves.” Yes. Not introspectively, but in the lives we live. In the reaching out as well as the reaching in. And yet God *does* dwell within, and knocks on the many locked doors of our hearts and minds and souls. And too often, we dwell without. We dwell outside… Read more »

James Byron
James Byron
3 years ago

You will be missed greatly, Susannah, as will your consistently graceful and incisive contributions: I can but wish you the best of retreats, and hope that it’s all it can be for you.

All my best, in friendship, James.

Joan Rasch
Joan Rasch
3 years ago

May I also thank Susannah Clark for her posts, with the hope that you will be called to post again in the future.

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